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SPORTS UPDATE

Don’t criticise Messi he’s still the best, says Aguero

Former Manchester City star Sergio Aguero has raced to the defence of fellow Argentine Lionel Messi, after the PSG star was slammed for his poor display in their 1-0 win over Real Madrid.

Messi, 34, was handed just a three out of 10 rating by L’Equipe for his ‘worrying’ limp performance after his dramatic penalty miss.

The former Barcelona forward failed to convert from 12 yards when handed a spot kick in the first leg of PSG’s last-16 clash with Madrid in the Champions League, with Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois saving his effort.

Kylian Mbappe spared Messi’s blushes with a sensational late strike to give the Parisians a one-goal advantage heading into the second leg at the Bernabeu.

Aguero told RMC Sport: ‘What s**t this Leo penalty story. He played well, broke lines. He was good and very active.

‘In France, magazines and newspapers killed him. They are a******s.’

The French newspaper did not hold back in slating him, even admitting to feeling sadness over his struggles since leaving Barcelona for Paris in the summer.

L’Equipe were scathing in their review of his entire performance, saying: ‘There’s something sad about seeing him like that.

‘In the first period, in this position almost as a midfielder, the Argentinian was available but he missed so narrowly (with the exception of his pass for Mbappe.)

‘In the one-on-one, he suffered the athletic impact. His second period is better: he provides some effective relays.

‘But he weighs down his record with his failed or blocked attempts (53rd, 75th) and this penalty saved. This Messi is worrying.’

Messi has scored just seven goals in 21 appearances for his new club this campaign and has struggled to settle into life in Paris.

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